Ein interessanter Artikel über die Konsolidierung im Radeinzelhandel in den USA, die Rolle von Herstellern im Einzelhandel und die Vermischung von Online- und Einzelhandel am Beispiel der Übernahme von Performance (einer amerikanischen Einzelhandelskette) durch Fuji. Besondere Erwähnung, wie der Einstieg von Canyon den amerikanischen Markt verändern wird.
Und noch ein interessanter Artikel über Komponentenverpreisung.
Fuji Bikes’ Parent Company Now Owns PerformancePurchase further reshapes how you’ll buy bikes and gear
BY JOE LINDSEY AUGUST 17, 2016
Your move, bike industry: Advanced Sports International (ASI), the parent company of Fuji Bikes and several other large cycling brands, announced Monday that it purchased Performance Bicycle, the largest brick-and-mortar bicycle store chain in the country and a major online retailer.
It’s the latest big shift in a rapidly reshaping consumer bike market, which is seeing increasing consolidation, a rise in online sales, and the decline—in numbers, at least—of the independent retail shop.
ASI’s purchase puts the company on closer footing to the ‚big three‘ brands—Specialized, Trek, and Giant—all of which have been aggressively competing in the retail arena, both online and in stores. It puts pressure on other mid-tier bike brands that Performance, for now, carries. And it raises the question of whether ASI’s current 2,000-strong dealers will still be able to offer shoppers such broad lines of product.
Why the Buy?
To understand why ASI made the purchase, just look at how the bike retail environment has changed over the past decade. Trek, Giant, and Specialized have become dominant in retail through several tactics.
First, they opened some corporate-owned or franchised retail outlets.
Second, and more important, they’ve separately pushed independent retailers to more strongly affiliate with them, in part by locking up increasing amounts of retail floor space in exchange for better sales terms. That tactic results in a smaller retail floor space footprint for every other brand to fight over.
Finally, both Trek and Giant have in the past year announced direct-to-consumer sales online, positioning themselves as “omnichannel” brands (retailers are still involved in direct online sales, but more from a service standpoint).
All of that has put pressure on not just rival bicycle brands, but also accessory, apparel, and component companies, as well as shops. That’s the backdrop of ASI’s purchase.
ASI, which owns Fuji, Kestrel, SE, Breezer, and Phat Cycles, as well as component brand Oval Concepts, has 2,000 retailers in the US (not all of them carry every ASI brand). But ASI’s brands were in the same position as every other brand: fighting for slivers of floor space against the big three, or focusing on shops that weren’t Trek, Specialized, or Giant dealers.
Performance already sells Fuji, Breezer, SE, and Kestrel, so the purchase doesn’t open new outlets, but ASI’s move does cement those as the core bike brands for Performance’s 106 physical retail locations. That means ASI no longer has to stress as much about fighting for floor space in other independent retailers, especially in markets with a Performance store.
ASI also picks up Performance’s house brands, like Scattante frames and accessories, Spin Doctor maintenance products, and component brand Forté. And the move strongly positions ASI for online retail through the performancebike.com and nashbar.com sites.
What This Means for Cyclists
So, how will this affect you, the rider? It’s a bit early to tell. The product mix at Performance and Nashbar will definitely change, but how much and when are still to be decided. Pat Cunnane, ASI’s CEO, told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News that Performance would sell more ASI brands, “but they will not be an ASI store. Performance stores will sell other brands.”
The question is which brands, and in which categories. Performance currently sells bikes from Ridley, GT, Diamondback, Marin, and Schwinn, among others, and will continue to do so for the time being, according to Bicycle Retailer. It’s easy to see Performance discontinuing at least some of those relationships.
But Performance likely can’t soon dump major accessory brands like Giro helmets or Pearl Izumi clothing; of all the brands under the new ASI umbrella, there’s not one for apparel, and Scattante only has a smattering of helmets.
When you put the buy in perspective of other large recent industry shifts, however, it underscores that the way we buy bikes is absolutely changing.
The brick-and-mortar retailer is still dominant, but that is shifting. Consider the impact of just a few large online retailers: UK outlets Wiggle and Chain Reaction will merge later this year, and joint revenues top $400 million. Much of that is to domestic buyers in the UK, but some is to American customers. And Competitive Cyclist is part of the Backcountry.com empire, which across its various sites does roughly $500 million in sales of outdoor gear including bikes and accessories. Performance doesn’t break out numbers between brick-and-mortar versus online sales but, overall, the company did about $275 million in total sales last year. For context, the National Bicycle Dealers Association found the domestic US bike market was a $6.1 billion industry last year.
The biggest pending impact on US consumers (and to the US market) may not be Trek or Giant’s move into consumer-direct sales, but when Canyon begins online sales to US customers next spring. The German brand pioneered the direct-to-customer model and will come to the US as part of an investment from TSG Consumer Partners, which owns a stake in Backcountry.com. Its bikes are considerably less expensive than comparably equipped models from brands with traditional retail sales channels.
As digital behemoths rise, NBDA reports that the number of independent retailers in the US has steadily dropped from over 6,200 in 2001 to just under 3,800 last year. Ultimately, the retail environment may split, with large brands pursuing their own, dedicated sales channels and bike shops working with the diverse array of smaller, independent brands, and refocusing on services like maintenance and bike fit (a shift already underway).
ASI’s move isn’t a single earthshaking moment in that process. But it is more evidence that the changes in how we’ll buy bikes aren’t a cyclical trend; they’re a genuine shift, to an entirely new approach.